Since the beginning of time, meditation has brought mankind a variety of benefits for his mind, body and the spirit. Over the course of time, meditation has grown and developed into many methods and techniques due to a mixture of cultures and beliefs. This write-up will guide you through the different methods of meditation. Although this is not a comprehensive list, we’ll get to know these different styles and the perks that we can get from these briefly. This article highlights the various meditative processes that are popular right now.
The different methods of meditation are divided into five categories:
1) Buddhist Meditation
2) Hindu Meditation
3) Chinese Meditation
4) Christian Meditation
5) Guided Meditation
1. Buddhist Meditation
Here are some of the most loved Buddhist meditation techniques used today:
This meditation is commonly known as the Zen Meditation. Zazen comes from a Japanese word that means seated meditation (Zen). Zazen meditation primarily concentrates on one’s breathing. The point of this style is to train the mind by becoming conscious of one’s thoughts without judgment.
Zen is one of the different methods of meditation that give clarity of mind and stress relief. If you are looking for clarity and relief from stress, then this is for you. Zen empties out the head from negativity, therefore, making one feel peaceful and happy. Perhaps, you might be suffering from chronic depression and would want to improve your self-confidence, then this technique is for you.
B. Vipassana Meditation
This traditional Buddhist practice was spread by S. N. Goenka and the Vipassana movement. Vipassana comes from the word “Vipassana” that means “insight.” This meditation process is sometimes confused as Mindfulness Meditation in the West. This method entails observing one’s breathing and ability to contemplate. This process is familiar during silent retreats.
If you are new to meditation, then this method is for you. Perhaps if you are stressed, this style is fit for you as this approach has been scientifically proven to reduce stress. Maybe you might need help in grounding yourself; then this meditation practice is suitable for you.
C. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness Meditation is an adaptation of the Vipassana combined with the influence of Zen meditation. This practice teaches one to drink in and observe all senses, thoughts, recollections, and emotions. This type of meditation exercise is a great help for those who are suffering from depression and physical suffering. It is also known to provide pain relief.
Mindfulness is for you if you are new to meditation and want to delve in deeper to the meditation practice. Mindfulness Meditation is especially useful for beginners who have no way to a meditation teacher. This method is one of the preferred meditation processes as it enhances and contributes one’s well-being.
2. Hindu Meditation
Here are some of the most popular Hindu meditation techniques used today:
A. Transcendental Meditation (TM)
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi acquainted the world with Transcendental Meditation in 1955. It uses an individual Mantra that is unique to the practitioner’s gender and age. This widely practiced method of meditation targets inner peace with self and everything around it. This approach is made even more famous by The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Sheryl Crow. Some studies show that it can lower your risk of stroke and heart attack. It also reduces blood pressure and risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. Even though this technique is attractive, it also has its share of negative criticisms all over.
Transcendental Meditation is kind of costly since you need a licensed mentor to teach you the art. If you are willing to shell out money and have your personal mantra for inner peace, then this might be for you.
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B. Yoga Meditations
Yoga meditations is another Hindu spiritual meditation regiment which uses simple meditation, breath control, and the enactment of some bodily postures. Some people practice this kind of meditation for health and relaxation, as well as self-knowledge, mental freedom, and self-realization.
There are different types of yoga traditions being taught in the world today. Some of the most common styles are:
- Third Eye Meditation (TEM) – The most common among the yoga meditation methods. It aims to focus on the spot in between your eyebrows where the third eye is believed to be found. TEM helps yogis focus and silence the mind.
- Chakra Meditation – This aims to point the attention of the practitioner to the seven chakras (centers of energy) of the body.
- Kundalini Meditation – The objective of this meditation process is to stir up the “Kundalini Energy” in each person to achieve enlightenment. This energy is assumed to be found at the base of the spine. Kundalini is a very complex system of practice. One should not try this technique alone. Seek the help of a qualified yogi.
You’re most likely to encounter the one that fits you and your life from one of the different methods of meditation in Yoga. Perhaps if you are a beginner in yoga, you might like Third Eye Meditation and Hatha Yoga. Ashtanga and Power Yoga are right for you if you are interested in weight loss at the same time keeping your body flexible.
C. IAM Meditation
If you want to find out the meaning of your purpose and existence in this earth, then this meditation can help you. It aims to help answer the ultimate question: “Who Am I?” This type of meditation process is believed to Improve one’s power of concentration, as well as, provide relaxation and expansive thinking.
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This method is suitable for all ages. However, one has to have an experienced teacher to educate and show the proper technique. If you want to bring inner freedom, relaxation, and peace to your life but have no prior experience in meditation, then this technique is for you. Want to create a sharper and clearer mind with an ability to make creative answers? The IAM meditation is a right fit for you.
3. Chinese Meditation
Here are some of the most popular Chinese meditation techniques used today:
A. Taoist Meditation
Lao Tzu is the founder of this type of meditation style. The motive of this method is to still the mind and the body while finding inner peace and harmony. Some Taoist Meditation techniques focus on longevity and improving one’s health.
If you want to be one with nature or into martial arts, you might enjoy this type of meditation technique. The downside to this though is its centers are not as easy to find as opposed to Yoga or Buddhist ones. Therefore, making it hard to follow through.
B. Qigong (Chi Kung)
This meditation technique combines health, martial arts training and meditation all at the same time. Qigong cultivates one life energy not only improves concentration but also supports energy circulation. There are tons of Qigong meditation varieties. One of the most popular ones is the Tai Chi.
If you think sitting meditation is too much for you; perhaps Qigong meditation is for you. This practice is an active type of meditation as you use gentle moves to calm the mind and spirit. There are a variety of styles of Qigong, so there is one that will most likely be for you.
4. Christain Meditation
Christian meditation is unique compared to its Eastern meditation counterparts as it focuses and centers on God, not on the self. The objective of this style is to check the intents of the heart to see if it aligns with the standards of God. Many believe that this style brings one closer to his/her God.
Some of the familiar forms of contemplative Christian practices are:
- Prayer – uses silent original or repetition of words with focus and devotion to God
- Reading – sometimes known as Bible study. Reading involves thinking deeply (or studying) the teaching, events, and lessons found in the Christian’s sacred book, the Bible.
- Reflection – others call this as sitting with God. This practice requires one to be still, focusing on the insights and learnings one has read the Bible. Reflection also calls the practitioner to aim its attention to God’s presence and greatness.
5. Guided Meditation
Guided Meditation or Non-Religious meditation is a contemporary form of meditation, getting its inspiration from Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist forms of meditations. This meditation approach attempts to bring increased concentration and deeper relaxation to a fast-paced modern world. You are being “guided” to help you reach a meditative state of mind through a set of instructions played in an audio recording.
There are different methods of meditation in this kind of technique. Some of them are:
- Traditional Meditation – The audio guide will show you the way on how to bring about a meditative state. During the whole process, you can only hear the voice guide. No background music is supporting the voice.
- Relaxation and Body Scans – This practice is accompanied by soothing sounds of nature or relaxing instrumental music. The goal for this type of guided meditation is to help one achieve total relaxation.
- Binaural Beats – It is a brainwave entrainment method wherein it uses two different sounds to put the practitioner in a meditative state of mind.
Finding traditional meditation exhausting and arduous? Guided meditation is ideal for you. This style of meditation process is an excellent compere for ones who have no background in meditation. If you are working on letting go of some tension in the body, try relaxation and body scans type of Guided meditation. Need to improve on your self-esteem? Perhaps you might like the affirmation style of guided meditation. If you love music, you might want to try Binaural beats.
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Different Methods of Meditation: which one should I pick?
This article just features the different methods of meditation. It may not be an exhaustive list, but it touches some of the most picked or tried meditation techniques in the market today.
Put into heart and mind that there is no perfect type of meditation. It all depends on how you feel and think what is best for you. So, do your research and maybe try some of the different methods of meditation for yourself until you get the right one.
Once you get your desired technique, build the habit and be consistent in your meditation to reap the full benefits that go with it.
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